BRADFORD'S City Park will play host to a flamboyant, colourful and multicultural programme of music, theatre and dance this weekend.

As part of the 2018 Bradford Festival, more than 350 artists will descend on the city to stage more than 50 acts and activities, across the three day event, which kicks off tomorrow.

In addition more than 20 bands will play a diverse range of music covering rock, pop and indie, rock n’ roll, folk, Gypsy, bhangra, country and western, soul, funk, brass, jazz , Panjabi, Turkish and Latin music.

Highlights include BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners The Demon Barbers XL, highly innovative Italian band Sweet Life Society and emerging Irish band The Eskies.

There will also be celebrated indie-pop bands CoCo and the Butterfields and Huw Eddy & The Carnival, multinational gypsy folk band The Odd Beats and Eastern European folk fusion band Buffo’s Wake.

Lancashire-based The Soul Convicts, will breathe fresh life into hits by James Brown, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire.

Traditional folk band, Anjaana, will play authentic Bhangra, rustic village music, rhythmic dance songs, folk tales and ballads using Panjabi folk instruments.

People will also be able to experience BBC Radio 4’s immersive 360-degree, 3D film, “Tell them I’m here!” Quake, Trapped Man. Innovative British arts company, Bootworks Theatre will re-create classic pop music videos in a lip-syncing musical medley in The JukeBoxes.

Highly creative and collaborative Bradford-based arts company, 154 Collective, returns with a new interactive work where participants create music by touching plants in The Musical Botanist.

Festivalgoers can also join colourful animatronic characters in Prince Amir and Nazreddin by UK puppet masters Creature Encounter.

Two players will enter a virtual world and compete for the ultimate prize in First Person, an interactive street theatre act by award-winning Lincoln-based company Zest Theatre.

A swarm of super friendly bees search for a new home in a high impact, interactive show Waggle Dance by UK street theatre troupe Egg People.

Eclectic company Kitsch & Sync Collective return to the festival with a roaming interactive street theatre piece, Babs and Stella’s Intergalactic Spectacular.

More than fifty local artists will offer lots of opportunities for people to have different hands-on experiences and create large collaborative art works.

Performers Simon Kerrigan and Sian Williams will introduce children to classic Beano characters, Dennis and Gnasher by using puppetry in the Mischief Makers Story Performance.

Hebden Bridge arts company Handmade Parade will show people how to make colourful working kites, and Make Me a rag Doll by Creative Flair will provide a chance to make a colourful rag doll in creative sessions designed to send out a positive multicultural message.

Local artists, Musarat Raza and Nasreen Akhtar will help people make dream catchers and Native American headbands using fine beadwork, brightly coloured yarn, feathers and trimming.

Shipley-based Morwenna Catt will bring a Viking-themed tent where people can make magical runes and colourful flags based on Nordic myths and legends.

People will also be able to sample speciality foods and refreshments including Caribbean, Italian and Asian fare at various food stalls and bars will serve alcoholic drinks from 3pm on Friday.

Several funfairs will offer dodgems, fair rides and bungee trampolines.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, healthy people and place portfolio holder at Bradford Council, said: “This year’s Bradford Festival is packed with fantastic things to see and do.

“The colourful and vibrant programme is incredibly varied so there should be something for everyone.

“Admission is free and everyone is welcome.”

For further information and updates, visit or follow Bradford Festival on Twitter and Facebook.